Last year, some parents asked me for a list of books that challenge gifted readers. I spent this past summer reviewing and selecting books for our literature discussions. The following article offers interesting insights into the elements at play in books that challenge gifted readers.
Here's a link to a great website for book selection: Conversations
Selecting Reading Materials for Young
When selecting appropriate texts for young gifted readers, Austin (2003) reported that books to challenge these students should have the following characteristics:
• Advanced language, structure, and point of view. Young gifted readers enjoy abstractions, finding patterns, and making connections between two different, but similar texts (Van Tassel-Baska & Brown, 2001).
• Ambiguous endings/content. These young readers like to read books without predictable plots. They want to view reading a text as if they were trying to solve a puzzle.
• Vocabulary that is rich, precise, and varied. The purpose of reading is to increase knowledge; young readers should be offered books that will challenge them.
• Characters who are professional role models and/or gifted individuals. Young readers need someone to identify with. There may be only one or two children who are able to read in the kindergarten classroom; we want these children to realize that their talent is a positive thing.
• Pictures. The use of picture books can be an excellent outlet for creative writing. Students can write their own stories to go along with the illustrations in the text or discuss the author's purpose for including certain details within the text.